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  1. #1

    Default Can fly sheets help keep horses cool in the summer?

    Okay so here's my predicament:
    I bought my horse in November of 2011 and he did okay last summer (2012), but I'm a little worried about him. He does spectacular in the cold but gets a little lethargic in the heat. He spent most of last summer in Abilene (Texas) where it got HOT, but it was always windy. So he managed to stay relatively cool. Well, the latter part of last summer was spent in the metroplex area where it's not as windy. He was okay, just really didn't want to do much of anything. He was at my trainer's house and she said that when she would let him out, he would walk to the round bale, eat for a bit, and then mosey back to the barn. He would just stay in the barn all day. He was also relativity sweaty and his bottom lip was sagging like I'd never seen before. I feel so bad for him He is in his 20's and is more my dog than my horse. I just love him so much! He's a bay and so I'm wondering if his darker coat is contributing to him getting so hot? If so, would possibly a white fly sheet help cool him down? My thoughts are that the white color will reflect light that was previously absorbed by his coat. Or would it just trap heat and make him hotter? I was looking at the Weatherbeeta Kool Coat Lite Turnout Sheet (http://www.smartpakequine.com/kool-c...x?cm_vc=Search) and the Saratoga Summer Turnout (http://www.smartpakequine.com/sarato...x?cm_vc=Search)
    Does anybody use either of these sheets with success? Does anybody use a fly sheet just to help keep their dark horse cool?
    Thanks!!!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2013
    Location
    Vancouver Island
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    1,138

    Default

    You may have better luck with the Kool Coat Airstream http://www.horse.com/item/kool-coat-...eet/SLT900006/

    Folks here on Vancouver Island have great luck with the Airstream. It's a Kool Coat and flysheet in one, so it keeps the bugs off better than a regular summer sheet, breathes better, but still reflects a lot of the sun's rays. A mare I know who has a photo-sensitivity problem can comfortably go out in the evenings (when the worst of the sun is gone) in her kool coat and full face fly mask and not break out in hives, instead of spending 6am to 9pm in a stall. She's now able to stay out until 8 or 9am and comes in until about 6pm, then out she goes again. It's a miracle blanket for her!

    Sadly, the Kool Coats are cut oddly and don't fit my gelding, so he wears a full coverage fly sheet from Amigo (in pale blue), and his belly/legs get doused in fly spray when the bugs are worst. His sheet is more for the bug factor as he's sensitive to them and it's taken me a year to find a fly spray that works but doesn't make him break out in hives. The Amigo DOES keep him a bit cooler, and since he's hose-shy, I will drench his sheet before putting it on him to keep him extra cool on the really hot days.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2007
    Location
    Triangle Area, NC
    Posts
    6,727

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    Yes, they do help. I prefer the white, mosquito mesh screen ones over the jersey knit.
    The white absorbs no heat, so colored horses stay cooler. The mosquito mesh allows maximum airflow.

    I'm also a die hard for electrolytes. As a heavy salt/heavy sweat athlete I know how crappy I feel when my electrolytes get low. I supplement myself daily with massive amounts (I eat 4x the recommended amount of salt per day for a person). All my horses get Apple A Day and they get lots more apple a day free choice post workout.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Location
    Dutchess County, New York
    Posts
    4,445

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    Would it be possible to rig up an agricultural fan for him? It all depends on your layout, but I'm able to have one blow through one of the run-ins and the temp inside is very pleasant. Here's a picture:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2001
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada, North America, Earth
    Posts
    1,080

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    I have to disagree. When it gets really hot, my guy's BugRug (and the BugRug is made of very light fabric) will make him sweat esp around the area in the front where the straps are. I take his sheet off when the temperature gets up there. I always thought that the sheet would keep him cooler, but I saw it with my own little eye balls. Good luck with your boy.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    5,530

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    I put the horses inside under fans when it's unbearable out. The fly sheets, not matter what type, do not cool them when it gets the point where the wind is the same temperature as the ambient temp (HOT!).

    I'd look in to a misting system for him, be sure he's getting salt in his feed to encourage him to drink, but don't add electrolytes unless he's sweating. Feeding carrots and apples will help, as will soaked hay cubes or beet pulp if it's feasible and he'll eat it quickly before it gets gross.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 8, 2007
    Location
    Maryland
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    1,855

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    I have the Saratoga sheet on my horses. It is SUPER lightweight and I think it helps horses that are dark colored stay cooler



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 19, 2009
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
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    Up to a point I think they can help the horse stay cooler, but if the ambient temperature is hot enough they just make the horse hotter. On the hottest days last summer we were pulling off fly sheets because the horses were just soaked in sweat under them. The naked horses weren't nearly so bad as they could benefit from any little wisp of breeze.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2008
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    now in KCMO, and plan to stay there
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    Considering his age, it just could be that his thermoregulating system is not as good as it used to be. Does he sweat as he should? If there is a lack of sweating, there are some supplements that are supposed to help. It would be a good idea to ask your Veterinarian for advice on this.
    Jeanie
    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 12, 2010
    Posts
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    Can he go out at night & stay parked in front of a fan in the barn during the day? That's what we do with our guys in GA and it seems to work well.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
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    Can he go out at night & stay parked in front of a fan in the barn during the day?
    that's what we do here, too, when it gets really hot.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2011
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    I haven't used turnout fly sheets in years (Yay for fly predators!!), but when I did, the ones that worked the best & ALSO kept the horses cool were the ones made from stiff plastic-like fabric that stood out a bit from the horse.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 3, 2013
    Posts
    447

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    My black horse used to stand totally still just sweating in summer. With a white fly sheet he is much cooler and doesn't sweat nearly as much. I would say it's worth a try for your guy!



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